THE South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) currently has more than 19 000 job posts available at the entity, but only has funding for half of them, MPs heard on Wednesday.
As of August 2017, Sassa had 19 162 approved permanent and contract posts at the agency, but only 9 091 of them were filled, the portfolio committee on social development heard.
This equated to a 52.6% vacancy rate.
"I have to emphasise the 19 000 were never fully funded," said Sassa executive manager Raphaahle Ramokgopa.
"As I present, it would give an indication that we have a high vacancy rate, but you have to assess it with the funded posts we have."
Ramokgopa explained that when Sassa was formed, job descriptions were defined at the time to represent a complete Sassa organogram that handled all administrative work.
However, many of the functions of Sassa have been outsourced to external partners for the last decade, including outgoing unlawful grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
"This structure was done based on that we would do all of the administrative work," acting Sassa CEO Pearl Bhengu said.
They thus need people to come in to improve expertise in many of these areas as they move away from CPS, including finance and banking.
Sassa currently only has funding for 220 more posts, all of which have been advertised, approximately 80% of which were still at shortlisting phase.
Bhengu told the committee that they have advertised 10 executive posts currently occupied by acting personnel.
These include the chief operations officer, executive manager: corporate affairs, and four regional executive manager posts.
She did not say, however, if her acting position had been advertised as a permanent post.